San Diego, CA - August 20, 2009 - The San Diego Air & Space Museum and the USS Midway Museum have partnered to pay tribute to the 40th anniversary of America's lunar exploration this September 4th and 5th with Race to the Moon: A Celebration with Space Legends. The weekend events honor the heroic achievements of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs which took America into space, to the moon and back. Fourteen astronauts currently plan to attend this momentous occasion.
Friday, September 4, 2009 - "Meet the Space Legends"
6 -10 PM, San Diego Air and Space Museum
Meet and talk to Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts during an intimate cocktail reception at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
Participate in a moderated forum, on stage, where over a dozen space legends describe their personal experiences and provide a unique perspective on the past and future of space exploration. Hors d'oeuvres & Open Bar, Cocktail Attire
Saturday, September 5, 2009 - "Moonlight on the Bay"
6 -10 PM, USS Midway Museum
Honor the astronauts at a spectacular gala dinner that will culminate in an American Patriot award presentation on the flight desk of the USS Midway Museum. A full moon and harbor view are sure to make this a truly stunning, out-of-this-world experience. Full course dinner, Black Tie Attire.
Ticket prices and additional information can be found at www.racetothemoonsd.org.
The astronauts attending are the remarkable aviators who flew the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo missions, the first Americans in space, and include many explorers who visited the moon. These were the Americans with the “Right Stuff:” adventurers, scientists, explorers, test pilots who embraced President Kennedy’s challenge to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade. Some of these astronauts even flew the follow-on Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz space program missions. In one room, you’ll encounter people who lived and worked in space, walked on the moon, and have some of the most unique experiences and stories imaginable. This is a rare and special opportunity to hear them on the 40th anniversary of mankind’s greatest achievement, the Apollo moon landings.
America established three key space programs – Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. Each flight of these programs was a key to reaching the moon. This methodical and technically challenging effort required a NASA team comprised of the finest men and women our nation could assemble. But it was also the will of a nation, the Cold War, challenges from the Soviet Union and from President Kennedy who believed in his nation’s greatness. There was an understanding that we must constantly seek new and higher goals, and the “Race-to-the-Moon” helped America win the Cold War. We honor those astronauts and the NASA team who made a difference and continue to inspire young Americans to excel.
One of America’s original Mercury 7 astronauts, Scott Carpenter became the second American to orbit the Earth, following the pioneering flight of John Glenn. Carpenter’s space flight capped an impressive career as a navy test pilot. He went on to explore the ocean depths as part of the Navy’s Sealab project, off the coast of La Jolla here in San Diego.
To the Moon: Snoopy Soars with NASA, now on display at the San Diego Air & Space Museum, examines the history of Apollo 10 and the Peanuts characters’ role in that flight.
Local astronaut Woody Spring is planning to join the event.
Month of special activities planned.